Twelve-year-old Maria Biundo lifts her little sister onto the top of a hamper in their parents' bathroom. She leans in, bringing her face close to the 8-year-old tot's, as she begins to work—sweeping blush across cheeks, shadow over eyelids, and a vibrant hue on lips. After the transformation is complete, Maria steps back to observe her sister's beautified features, and a broad smile spreads across both their faces. The right makeup, she realizes, can make one feel good inside and out. Today, Maria—now a licensed aesthetician—designs the services at Escape & Unwind Salon Spa to emphasize beauty's uplifting effects. She brings homemade chocolate-chip cookies into work each day, pressing them upon clients between facials, massages, manicures, and waxing and makeup services. She also insists that her team undergoes training with reps from skincare and makeup lines such as Jan Marini, Moroccanoil, and DermaQuest to ensure they're using the latest beauty techniques. For maximum pampering, she even hires a professional chef to cater services for bridal parties and other groups with light, healthy food.
The aestheticians and technicians at Skin 2 Envy adhere to an informal code that mandates a high level of care and artistry for every facial, massage, and anti-aging treatment they perform. For instance, the team takes up to two weeks to craft custom skin peels, treating issues ranging from redness to wrinkles to having too many fake moustaches on one's cheek. In order to learn as much as possible about such concerns, aestheticians and massage therapists consult with each client prior to each session.
Having returned to the mainland from Hawaii, stylist Mica Popovich didn't travel light. His head was—and still is—brimming with techniques and ideas instilled from his professional training. Like many of the team members at Fusion Salon and Spa, he learned his craft under masters at places such as Vidal Sassoon and Bumble and bumble, practicing the creation of both classic and innovative cuts.
Fusion channels his and others' talents into highly personalized services. Trims, blow-dries, and conditioning treatments refresh 'dos, whereas color and highlights enliven locks with new shades. To fashion straighter hair, the staff administers Brazilian blowouts and Japanese permanent straightening procedures, which flatten frizz more practically than strictly avoiding the use of all electricity. Airbrush tanning, skincare, and mani-pedis complete comprehensive makeovers. Unlike the vibe at many high-end salons, Fusion's atmosphere is hardly competitive. Instead, it's welcoming, thanks to the supportive artists, all of whom encourage one another to develop lasting relationships with their clients.
Rozlyn, owner of De La Muse Salon and Spa, got her start in the ultra-trendy salons of San Francisco's Union Square. When the time came to start her own salon, she wanted to bring the bustling neighborhood’s feeling of fun, experimentation, and style to Folsom. So she lined up a deep bench of stylists (not to mention makeup artists, nail technicians, and massage therapists) in an elegantly appointed venue hung with lustrous metallic curtains.
Stylish as the surroundings are, Rozlyn strives to make every client feel at home. "Communication is key to a great outcome, and I love to chat," she says on the salon’s website. That focus on communication extends to client education: among the services at De La Muse is a one-on-one makeup lesson with the owner of makeup line Scene Cosmetics to help women figure out which products work for everyday use and which lipsticks taste the best.
As its plainspoken name suggests, The Shop, which is located inside El Dorado Physical Therapy, eschews frills in favor of a no-nonsense approach to massage therapy. The studio’s staff recognizes that the frenetic pace of modern life can lead to real health problems. In order to combat the stress of sitting in a traffic jam or the muscle spasms associated with hurling a stalled semitruck off the highway, they rely on a technique known as Royal Touch massage. This specialty therapy combines the penetrating pressures of a deep-tissue massage with the ancient Chinese techniques of acupressure. Their other healing modalities are a bit more straightforward, though hardly less effective. The list includes a soothing lymph therapy along with Swedish, deep-tissue, and Shiatsu massages.
At Adore, an Aveda Concept Salon, a talented group of master, senior, and junior stylists fulfill their mission of bringing the beauty out in every client with a combination of technique and vision. The team goes about this in a number of ways; for the hair, they offer Aveda re-texturizing system treatments on top of haircuts and coloring. Their color is up to 98% naturally derived from plant and flower essences, and completely customizable. To coax a radiant glow from the face without a police flashlight or clear bag full of lightning bugs, they present elemental nature and botanical skin resurfacing facials. Other services include botanical therapy hair treatments, mani-pedis, lash and brow tinting, and waxing.
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